Home appraisals are an important part of the home buying and refinancing process. They provide an unbiased estimate of a property’s value, which is used by lenders to ensure that the loan amount is appropriate. However, some homeowners may wonder if it is possible to skip the appraisal process altogether.

The answer is yes, in some cases, it is possible to skip a home appraisal. For example, if the home purchase price is below a certain amount, the lender may not require an appraisal. Additionally, some lenders may offer a streamlined refinancing process that does not require an appraisal.

However, it is important to note that skipping an appraisal can have consequences, such as paying a higher interest rate or not being able to secure as much financing as desired. It is important to carefully consider all options before deciding to skip a home appraisal.

What is a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is an estimate of a property’s value by a licensed appraiser. It is a crucial part of the home buying and selling process because it determines the fair market value of the property. The appraiser determines the value by evaluating the condition, location, and features of the property, as well as comparing it to similar properties in the area, known as “comps.”

What is a Home Appraisal?

The appraisal process takes into account various factors such as the property’s square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, and major systems such as heating and cooling. The appraiser also considers the condition of the interior and exterior of the property, as well as any permanent fixtures.

The market value of a property is the price that a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept for a property. The appraised value of a property is an estimate of its market value, based on the appraiser’s evaluation.

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It is important to note that a home appraisal is not the same as a home inspection. A home inspection is a more detailed evaluation of the property’s condition, including its plumbing, electrical, and structural systems. A home appraisal focuses on the property’s value, while a home inspection focuses on the property’s condition.

In summary, a home appraisal is an essential part of the home buying and selling process. It determines the fair market value of the property and ensures that the buyer and seller are getting a fair deal.

Why is a Home Appraisal Required?

A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the fair market value of a property conducted by a licensed appraiser. It is an essential part of the home buying process and is required by most lenders when obtaining a mortgage loan. The purpose of a home appraisal is to protect the lender’s investment by ensuring that the sale price of the property is fair and reasonable.

During a home appraisal, the appraiser will inspect the property and evaluate its condition, size, location, and other key features. They will also compare the property to similar homes in the area that have recently sold to determine its market value. The appraiser will then provide a detailed report to the lender, which will be used to determine the maximum loan amount that can be offered to the borrower.

A home appraisal is required for several reasons. First, it ensures that the borrower is not overpaying for the property. If the appraised value is lower than the sale price, the lender may require the borrower to make a larger down payment to compensate for the difference. In some cases, the lender may even refuse to finance the loan if the appraised value is significantly lower than the sale price.

Second, a home appraisal protects the lender’s investment. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender may need to foreclose on the property and sell it to recoup their losses. If the property was overvalued, the lender may not be able to recover the full amount of the loan, which could result in a significant financial loss.

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Finally, a home appraisal is required by law for most home purchases and refinancing transactions. It is an important part of the closing process and must be completed before the sale can be finalized.

The cost of a home appraisal varies depending on several factors, including the size and location of the property. Generally, home appraisal costs range from $300 to $800, and the buyer is responsible for paying this fee. However, some lenders may offer to cover the cost of the appraisal as part of the loan package.

In summary, a home appraisal is required to protect both the lender and the borrower during a home purchase or refinancing transaction. It ensures that the sale price of the property is fair and reasonable and protects the lender’s investment in the event of default.

Can You Skip a Home Appraisal?

If you’re in the process of buying or refinancing a home, you may be wondering if you can skip the home appraisal. The answer is: it depends. Here’s what you need to know.

What is an Appraisal Waiver?

An appraisal waiver is a program offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allows certain borrowers to skip the traditional home appraisal process. Instead, an evaluation method is used to determine the current market value of the home based on real estate comps and other data. This can save time and money, as well as reduce the risk of appraisal issues or errors.

When Can You Skip a Home Appraisal?

You may be able to skip a home appraisal if you are a cash buyer, if the home sale is for a few hundred dollars, or if you are refinancing with an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL). Additionally, if you are refinancing and the new loan amount is less than or equal to the current loan amount, you may be eligible for an appraisal waiver.

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Should You Skip a Home Appraisal?

Can You Skip a Home Appraisal?

While skipping a home appraisal can save you a few hundred dollars in added cost, it may not be worth the risk of overpaying for a home. A low appraisal can indicate that you are paying more than the fair price for the home, and it may be worth getting a second opinion from a real estate appraiser or using real estate comps to determine the current market value of the home. The National Association of Realtors recommends that buyers and sellers consider an appraisal contingency to protect themselves in case of appraisal issues or mistakes.

If you do decide to skip the appraisal, be sure to do your due diligence and make sure you are not overpaying for the home. Consider getting a drive-by appraisal or making home improvements to increase the value of the home. Keep in mind that an appraisal waiver is not available in all situations, and it is important to prioritize consumer protection and make informed decisions when it comes to buying or refinancing a home.


In conclusion, skipping a home appraisal may seem like an attractive option to save money on a home purchase or refinancing. However, it is not always the best choice for everyone.

For home purchases, skipping an appraisal may put the buyer at risk of overpaying for a property that may not be worth the agreed-upon price. Additionally, lenders may require an appraisal before approving a mortgage, which means skipping it may not even be an option.

On the other hand, for refinancing, skipping an appraisal may be a viable option for homeowners who have a good track record of timely payments and have built up enough equity in their home. This can save them hundreds of dollars in appraisal fees and streamline the refinancing process.

Ultimately, the decision to skip a home appraisal should be based on individual circumstances. It is important to weigh the potential risks and benefits before making a final decision.

If you are unsure whether skipping an appraisal is right for you, it may be helpful to consult with a licensed real estate agent or mortgage professional who can provide guidance and advice based on your specific situation.

About the author 

Eric Lee

Eric, Co-Founder of REIInsiders, brings extensive real estate investing expertise and a finance background to drive growth and oversee marketing and business development efforts.

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